During her forty year career as a hairdresser and star judge on BBC2’s Hair, Denise McAdams has worked her magic on the locks of Hollywood starlets such as Grace Kelly and the Royals including Prince William – back when he was a fresh-faced student courting a shy girl called Catherine. There isn’t a trick in the book Denise doesn’t know about maintaining polished healthy hair through the decades. ‘You have to be coiffured when you’re older, you can’t go from walking the dog to going out for lunch as you might have been able to once.’ Here are Denise’s top insider tips for youthful hair at any age…
Don’t be afraid to cut your hair or layer it for that matter…‘It’s amazing how just taking hair up that little bit shorter onto the shoulder can instantly make it appear thicker. Never be frightened of layering just ask your stylist to very finely slice them through the middle of your hair, not the ends. You might even like to try some soft layers through your fringe if you have one, to give it a little lift. Aim to get your hair cut every 6-8 weeks to sharpen the edges and thicken it up.’
Can colour help too?’Yes, colour swells the hair cuticle which thickens it up. But you want to see variation of shading, at least three colours not a flat solid blanket of dye. If you don’t want to noticeably change the colour of your hair put some highlights in your natural hair tone through the underneath and back of your hair to give it extra thickness.‘
How can we regain the swishy volume of our youth?‘Sleep-in rollers are great if you want your hair to feel young and bouncy. Simply section your hair and heat with a hairdryer, then put the rollers in whilst it’s warm and leave your hair to cool down overnight before you take them out.’
Dry shampoo should we or shouldn’t we?
‘Dry shampoo is an amazing tool when you go through menopause. Spray a little bit into the back of your head from ear to ear before you go to bed and it will mop up any excess moisture during the night. But make sure you wash it out properly otherwise the cuticle gets clogged and your hair will lose its shine.’
What is the one product you couldn’t live without?‘Joico Curl Refreshed Reanimating Mist is fantastic if like me, you have naturally curly hair. It really does define each curl. When I was younger I just washed my hair and left it, but I use joico now that I need a bit more than just water.’
Is there anything else we can do overnight that will help the condition of our hair?
‘I’m a great advocate of sleeping on a silk pillowcase. It stops friction when you move your head during the night and keeps the hair cuticle nice and smooth. I actually learned it from Grace Kelly. The minute you did her hair she wrapped a silk scarf around it and held it tight until she reached where she was going.’